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Over 40 years ago in Louisiana, 3 young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000-acre former slave plantation called Angola. In 1972 and 1973 prison officials charged Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King with murders they did not commit and threw them into 6x9 ft. cells in solitary confinement, for over 36 years. Robert was freed in 2001, but Herman and Albert remain behind bars.
Monday, January 13, 2014 A Moral Outrage: Albert Woodfox's 41 Years in Solitary Confinement, Despite Three Overturned Convictions (1 comments)
We new interview with Rev Dr Patricia Bates from the National Religious Coalition Against Torture (NRCAT), who attended Albert Woodfox's recent January 7 oral arguments before the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rev. Dr. Bates made a statement at the press conference outside the courtroom on behalf of NRCAT. Amnesty International is calling for Albert Woodfox's immediate release from prison.
Saturday, May 11, 2013 Russell "Maroon' Shoatz Files Lawsuit Protesting 22 Consecutive Years in Solitary Confinement
Earlier this week, on Wednesday, May 8, lawyers for Russell "Maroon' Shoatz filed a federal lawsuit regarding his placement in solitary confinement for over 22 consecutive years. The written complaint, directed at Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel and the Superintendents of SCI-Greene, where Shoatz was last held, and SCI-Mahanoy, where he was transferred to on March 28, 2013.
Thursday, January 31, 2013 The Black Panther Party's Living Legacy: Touring Oakland & Berkeley with Billy X Jennings (1 comments)
Last week, the "Dismantling Racism" class from St. Catherine University in Minnesota was taken on a Black Panther History Tour in Oakland and Berkeley, led by Billy X Jennings from It's AboutTime BPP Alumni & Legacy. Along with ongoing BPP history exhibits at the Alameda County Law Library in downtown Oakland and the window of Rasputin Music on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley is a new photo exhibit running until February 28...
Friday, October 19, 2012 Amnesty International Denounces Torture in California Prisons, Demands Changes --An interview with Tessa Murphy (1 comments)
Two weeks after the release of Amnesty International's new report on the use of prolonged solitary confinement inside California's "Security Housing Units' (SHUs), entitled "The Edge of Endurance: Conditions in California's Security Housing Units," prisoners initiated another hunger strike, with 500 participants statewide. In this new interview, Tessa Murphy speaks about her visit to California SHUs and Amnesty's report based.
Thursday, September 6, 2012 Will AB 2530 Unshackle Childbirth in California? --An interview with Tina Reynolds and Vikki Law (1 comments)
A bill opposing the shackling of pregnant prisoners, AB 2530, has been passed unanimously by the California State Legislature and is now on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk, with thirty days to either approve or veto it. Last year, a previous version of this bill was also passed unanimously by the Legislature, but it was ultimately vetoed by Brown. Activists are urgently mobilizing public pressure to stop another veto by Gov. Brown.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 Do US Prisons Violate European Human Rights Law? --An interview with Hamja Ahsan and Aviva Stahl (2 comments)
On April 10, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case of Babar Ahmad and Others v The United Kingdom, thereby making a landmark ruling on the legitimacy of solitary confinement, extreme isolation and life without parole in US supermax prisons. This judgement is now being appealed to the Grand Chamber, with a decision expected in September regarding whether or not the appeal will be considered.
Monday, June 18, 2012 Prolonged Solitary Confinement on Trial --An interview with law professor Angela A. Allen-Bell
On the morning of Tuesday, June 19, the Senate Judiciary Committee is having a hearing on solitary confinement. Submitted for the hearing is a new law journal article by Prof. Bell entitled "Perception Profiling & Prolonged Solitary Confinement Viewed Through the Lens of the Angola 3 Case: When Prison Officials Become Judges, Judges Become Visually Challenged and Justice Become Legally Blind."
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 VIDEO: The Outer Limits of Solitary Confinement, w/ Robert King of the Angola 3
"The Outer Limits" at UC Hastings marked 40 years of solitary confinement for Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3, by exploring the expansion and overuse of solitary confinement, mobilizing support for the Amnesty International Petition to remove Wallace and Woodfox from solitary confinement (being hand delivered to LA Governor Bobby Jindal on Tuesday, April 17) and support for the California Hunger Strikers.
Thursday, March 15, 2012 Guantanamo Prison's True Secret: Jason Leopold in Conversation With Andy Worthington
British journalist Andy Worthington, the author of "The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison," has been documenting the array of human rights abuses at Guantanamo for over six years now He recently spoke alongside Truthout.org's investigative journalist Jason Leopold at the UC Hastings College of Law, in San Francisco, hosted by the college's chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Thursday, December 22, 2011 Medical Self Defense and the Black Panther Party --An interview with Alondra Nelson
Alondra Nelson, a professor at Columbia University, is the author of a new book, "Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination." She writes that "the Party's focus on health care was both practical and ideological." The BPP provided free community health care services. The BPP also confronted the medical-industrial complex, declaring that health care was "a right and not a privilege."
Monday, December 12, 2011 Resisting Gender Violence Without Cops or Prisons --An interview with Victoria Law
Activist and journalist Victoria Law is the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. In this interview, Law builds upon her earlier prison abolitionist critique by discussing practical alternatives for effectively confronting gender violence without using the prison system. She cites many success stories where women, not wanting to work with the police, instead collectively organized in an...
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 "We Called Ourselves the Children of Malcolm" --An interview with Billy X Jennings of It's About Time BPP
This year marks the 45th year since the Black Panther Party was co-founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland. It's About Time BPP is organizing events throughout the month, with the biggest events Oct. 21-23 (read the full schedule below). Featured here is a new video-interview with Billy X Jennings by Angola 3 News, entitled "We Called Ourselves the Children of Malcolm," featuring archival photos and much more.
Saturday, October 8, 2011 15 Years of Giving Voice to Women and Transgender Prisoners in California --An interview with CCWP (1 comments)
On Sept. 26, the statewide prisoner hunger strike resumed after a postponement of almost two months to give the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) time to implement policy changes. The current hunger strike demonstrates once again that injustice fuels resistance, and California has a rich history of prisoners, former prisoners, and their supporters taking a stand.
Thursday, September 29, 2011 Filming the Inspiring Life of Eddy Zheng, a Bay Area Community Leader Facing Imminent Deportation
Ben Wang is the Director/Producer of the upcoming film Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story. The film's website explains that "after serving over 20 years behind bars for a robbery he committed at age 16, Chinese American community leader Eddy Zheng now faces deportation to China, a huge loss to the Bay Area community. Released from prison in 2007, Eddy has dedicated his life to preventing youth violence and delinquency..."
Friday, June 10, 2011 Amnesty International Launches Global Angola 3 Campaign
This week Amnesty International launched a global campaign calling for US authorities to end the solitary confinement of Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, of the Angola 3. They state that "the treatment to which the two men have been subjected was 'cruel and inhumane' and amounted to a violation of the US' obligations under international law". Amnesty is calling for people around the world to contact Governor Jindal.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 The Real Cost of Prisons --An interview with Lois Ahrens
The racist sub-text of the neo-liberal political agenda succeeded in creating acceptance of mass incarceration while simultaneously creating the laws and industries to police, prosecute, cage and control millions of people--almost all poor people and people of color.
Friday, May 6, 2011 Troy Davis Execution Date Expected Anytime --An interview with Laura Moye of Amnesty International
Laura Moye is director of the Amnesty International USA Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. Moye talks about Troy Davis, an African American on death row for over 19 years--having already faced three execution dates. The continued railroading of Davis has sparked outrage around the world, and public pressure has been essential to his survival. His execution date is expected to be scheduled any day. We must act to stop it!
Thursday, April 14, 2011 SOUL ON FIRE --Online play portrays Herman Wallace of the Angola 3 (1 comments)
Activist, writer, and actress Linda Carmichael explains that she "first wrote the play SOUL ON FIRE about seven years ago, and has had several staged readings performed since, including one Off Broadway. I had been corresponding with Herman and he knew I was an actress and suggested I write a play...A lot of the dialogue was from actual letters that Herman and I wrote to each other over many years."
Saturday, March 12, 2011 Dancing With Dynamite --A video interview with Ben Dangl (1 comments)
Dancing With Dynamite deals with the dances between today's nominally left-leaning South American governments and the dynamic movements that helped pave their way to power in Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, and Paraguay. The discussion surrounding the question of changing the world through taking state power or remaining autonomous has been going on for centuries.
Sunday, March 6, 2011 War, Prisons, and Torture in the US & UK --An interview with Richard Haley (1 comments)
We launched the "Stop Isolation" campaign and website because the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is considering the appeals of four British citizens--Babar Ahmad, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Haroon Rashid Aswat, and Abu Hamza--against extradition to the US to face terrorism charges...The court's long-delayed judgment is expected in the next few months. It will be a landmark in the development of human rights law.
Sunday, February 27, 2011 VIDEO: Dylcia Pagan and Cisco Torres Talk Politics (2 comments)
This February 26, 2011 episode of Freedom is a Constant Struggle features Dylcia Pagan and Cisco Torres. Dylcia Pagan is a Puerto Rican freedom fighter and Independista, who spent nearly 20 years in Federal prisons. Cisco is the last of the San Francisco Eight to still be facing charges. He has an evidentiary hearing on March 2, 2011, and there is an 8 AM rally prior to the hearing, where supporters are urged to attend.
Monday, January 3, 2011 Lucasville Five Hunger Strike Begins --An interview with author Staughton Lynd
The Lucasville Five announced last week that four of the five will be participating in a simultaneous "rolling hunger strike," beginning today, January 3. They are using the hunger strike to protest their convictions (having always maintained their innocence) as well as their living situation, which is more restrictive than for most prisoners on Ohio's death row. Staughton Lynd has written the definitive book on the case.
Thursday, December 23, 2010 Bradley Manning and GI Resistance to US War Crimes --An interview with Dahr Jamail (1 comments)
When someone becomes a soldier, they swear an oath to support and defend the US constitution by following "lawful" orders. Thus, they are legally obliged by their own oath to not follow unlawful orders. What Bradley Manning did by leaking this critical information has been to uphold his oath as a soldier in the most patriotic way. Now, compare that with how he has been raked over the coals by most of the mainstream media.
Saturday, November 13, 2010 Resisting Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex --An interview with Victoria Law (2 comments)
In this interview, author Victoria Law discusses her article in the new "Hidden 1970s" book, which provides a history of radical feminist resistance to the criminalization of women who have defended themselves from gender violence. Furthermore, Law presents a prison abolitionist critique of how the mainstream women's movement has embraced the US criminal justice system as a solution for combating violence against women.
Monday, October 18, 2010 May 13, 1985 and the Legalization of Murder (featuring a new video interview with Ramona Africa)
Ramona Africa is seeking murder charges against Philadelphia police and officials for the deaths of 11 of her MOVE family members on May 13, 1985, when police fired 10,000 rounds of gunfire, dropped a bomb that started a fire, and according to the MOVE Commission, shot at occupants when they tried to escape the fire. In the video, Ramona gives her account of May 13, and the accompanying written article gives more background.
Monday, September 20, 2010 The FBI's War On Democracy --Claude Marks discusses the new film COINTELPRO 101
Claude Marks, director of Freedom Archives, says that "we undertook to make this new film, knowing that no government agent or agency has ever been held accountable for the assassinations of leaders, the destruction of organizations, the imprisonment and political targeting of so many people -" people who still remain prisoners of the wars against movements for liberation and self-determination within the US borders.
Saturday, August 14, 2010 Prison Abolition In Practice --Part two of an interview with Criminal Injustice Kos (1 comments)
Let's get rid of prison rape. Let's reinstitute rehabilitation. Let's repeal certain draconian sentencing laws. All good and essential ideas. But very little -" in some cases, nothing - will fundamentally change unless those ideas, and more, are advanced within a strategic framework of abolition. Why? Because if we're not thinking "bigger," the so-called reforms inevitably will morph into new ways of supporting the...
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 COINTELPRO and the Omaha Two --An interview with Michael Richardson
In 2007, veteran journalist Michael Richardson began writing a series of articles for OpEdNews.com about Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, who are two Black Panther political prisoners known as the Omaha Two. Richardson argues that they were framed for the 1970 murder of a policeman as part of the FBI's notorious counterintelligence program, dubbed "COINTELPRO," a top-secret and illegal operation targeting the US Left.
Sunday, July 11, 2010 Abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex --An interview with Criminal Injustice Kos (1 comments)
If one accepts, as I do, that prisons in the US are a contemporary extension of chattel slavery, that prisons are irredeemably rooted in racism and classism that prisons serve no purpose save corporate profit and raw retribution, then one must call for their abolition. Prison "reform" is insufficient if the very notion and reality of prison itself is grounded in inequality, injustice and destruction.
Friday, July 2, 2010 The MOVE 9 Parole Hearings --An interview with Ramona Africa
Ramona Africa is the sole adult survivor of the May 13, 1985 bombing and massacre of 11 members of the MOVE organization. Founded in the early 1970s by John Africa, MOVE is a mostly black religious and family-based political organization that, in their words, works "to stop industry from poisoning the air, the water, the soil, and to put an end to the enslavement of life - people, animals, any form of life."
Thursday, May 27, 2010 The Jena Generation --An interview with Jordan Flaherty
If this city is going to recover, the first step is getting out the truth that New Orleans is not okay. Most of the country believes either that New Orleans has been rebuilt, or that, if not, it's because people here are lazy and/or corrupt and wasted the nation's generous assistance. But New Orleans is still a city in crisis. The oft-promised aid, whether from FEMA or various federal and private agencies, has not arrived.
Friday, May 14, 2010 A Christian Perspective on Prisons --An interview with Stan Moody
Only as the public becomes aware of the enormous cost of the revolving door of incarceration will they begin to pay attention to what is going on inside and how we might change the dynamic. Corrections has taken full advantage of this denial by essentially saying, "You cannot possibly understand what we are up against." They have built incarceration into a growth industry that is sapping our national strength and shredding...
Sunday, March 7, 2010 The Racialization of Crime and Punishment--An Interview With Nancy A. Heitzeg (2 comments)
"As movements for Abolition and Civil Rights worked to end the institutions of slavery, lynching and legalized segregation, new and more indirect mechanisms have emerged for perpetuating systemic racism and its economic underpinnings," argues Nancy A. Heitzeg, Ph.D, who is a Professor of Sociology and Program Co-Director of Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity at St Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Saturday, February 20, 2010 Remembering Safiya Bukhari: An Interview With Laura Whitehorn
I met Safiya in the visiting room of the Federal Correctional Institution (for women) in Dublin, CA, in 1997--but when we embraced, it felt as if I'd known her all my life. At the time, Safiya was traveling to various prisons, visiting political prisoners to talk with us about Jericho '98...I was in Dublin, along with six other women political prisoners.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 Visiting A Modern Day Slave Plantation--An Interview With Nancy A. Heitzeg (6 comments)
Angola was and is still is very much a slave plantation. At 18,000 acres, it is the largest prison in the US--the only prison with its own zip code. The patterns established in the old south have proliferated and expanded throughout the US, as African Americans are disproportionately policed, prosecuted, convicted,disenfranchised and imprisoned in the prison industrial complex.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 Slavery in US Prisons--An interview with Robert Hillary King and Dr. Terry Kupers (video)
In this new video, Robert King and Dr. Terry Kupers, argue that slavery persists today in Angola and other U.S. prisons, citing the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which legalizes slavery in prisons as "a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." As King says: "You can be legally incarcerated but morally innocent."
Saturday, January 2, 2010 Kiilu Nyasha & Emory Douglas: Remember Oscar Grant, Resist Police Brutality and Murder (with video)
Exactly one year ago, in the early hours of January 1st, 2009, twenty two year-old Oscar Grant III was murdered by white BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. Emory Douglas first served as the art director for the Black Panther Party's newspaper, and later served as Minister of Culture until 1980. Kiilu Nyasha is a San Francisco-based journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 Video Interview With Kiilu Nyasha: Counterrevolution in the United States
This new video focuses on the counterrevolution launched against the Black Panther Party, other 1960's revolutionary groups, and the poor and oppressed communities that these groups were organizing. This is the second video released from the hour-long interview conducted by Angola 3 News with Kiilu Nyasha at her home in San Francisco, CA in November, 2009.
Friday, November 20, 2009 The Arrest and Torture of Syed Hashmi --an interview with Jeanne Theoharis (4 comments)
Jeanne Theoharis is the author of an April, 2009 article in The Nation, entitled “Guantanamo At Home,” which focuses on the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of US citizen Syed Hashmi in a New York City prison with Guantanamo-like conditions. Hashmi's trial will begin in New York City on December 1.
Saturday, October 24, 2009 Torturing Women Prisoners -- an interview with Victoria Law (2 comments)
Victoria Law is the author of the new book, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women. She explains: "Even when they are not being physically assaulted, the women have no privacy—toilets are in full view of the cell door windows, guards can look through those windows at any time and, in many prisons, male guards can watch the women in the showers, on the toilet or when they are trying to dress or undress."